By: David Becerra
Lil Wayne has been rapping for what seems like an eternity. Even though he has a great catalog of music to show for, it feels like many of his more recent projects seem to go under the radar if they don’t have “Tha Carter ” name attached to them. Wayne said it himself that the Carter albums are the only projects of his that require any specific preparation and focus. His other albums and mixtapes are simply born from his marathon recording sessions. Wayne has had many game changing projects in the past and this isn’t to say that his other albums and mixtapes are bad because he did give us great pieces of work in Da Drought 2, Dedication 2 and No Ceilings to name a few. But just going into recording sessions with no solid plan in mind can lead to either a solid project in rare cases or to an okay one at best.
This is exactly what we get with Waynes’ latest release “Funeral”. It’s been just under a month since its release and the project does have some great memorable moments but contains more forgettable moments for sure. Coming off of a really solid project in Tha Carter V we really didn’t know what to expect with this new project and the fact that there was no build up maybe hurt its case a little more.
The title and intro track Funeral makes us believe that the project will take us down the path of some really dark themes and possibly an end to Wayne, but just ends up being the title and actually only does so on a couple of tracks.
Welcome to the funeral, yeah
Closed casket as usual
Yeah, welcome to the funeral
The choir’s singin’ musicals
Kumbaya, it’s beautiful
I bust in with that Uzi, though
And they look like they saw Lucifer
The album is a total of 24 tracks (Honoring Kobe Bryant) running at about an hour and sixteen minutes. This is one of the albums major downsides. Really hardcore Wayne fans are probably used to this by now but if you were listening to the album in its entirety not too familiar with his past work, one would most likely get lost and lose focus about three quarters of the way in.
The album also features a large number of artists from Jay Rock, Takeoff, Adam Levine, Big Sean, and XXXTENTACION which is something that we have now come to expect with Wayne projects.
Some of the best tracks and lines come in at the beginning of the album. For example the tracks Mahogany and Mama Mia. On these Wayne flexes all his lyrical capabilities. This is Wayne at his best and it almost makes us feel like it’s 2007 all over again with his great one liners, metaphors and similes. On Mahogany sampled Eryn Allen Kanes’ Bass Song and went off even explaining the many things that could possibly be made of mahogany.
Another notable track is I do It, featuring Big Sean and Lil Baby. On the track the three describe their privileged lifestyles and their legendary work ethic. This tack seems to work as one that motivates you to get up and just do it. Also the Big Sean hook is one of the most catchy Sean hooks we have gotten to date. Wayne gives us one of his biggest flexes to date rapping “I got money from 2002, that I ain’t seen since 2002”.
Just after the quarter mark of the album is where some things seem to take a turn. For a lot of the rest of the project it feels as if Wayne almost sits in the background of the songs and goes off in many different directions. One example is Trust Nobody featuring Adam Levine. The collaboration is a weird one and it feels as if they are trying to make a catchy radio song, but just feels different with Wayne sounding a bit out of energy and gas. Another track that seemed out of place was Get Outta My Head featuring XXXTENTACION. On this track Wayne went a route we have never seen him go before in creating an edgy dark sound both facing their demons and trying to get the Devil out of their heads. It’s definitely a track and genre that XXXTENTACION was more known for that some artists may have tried to recreate but just ended up seeming like the album could have gone without it.
Funeral is an album that won’t always be mentioned when we talk about Lil Wayne’s best work but is definitely not a bad project at all. It is just one that is a bit unfocused and bounces around a lot from different sounds to the next. The albums name and cover definitely leave more to be desired and if a real solid plan would have been laid out by Wayne, it would have made for a possible amazing concept and story throughout. Funeral is certainly not the end or death of Lil Wayne as the title makes it to be, but possible the beginning of a new and different Wayne. “Totally, it’s Wayne’s World And we’re out”.